Blockchain to deliver a faster offer and acceptance solution for buyers and sellers

Buyers, sellers and agents now have access to a faster, more transparent offer and acceptance process when it comes to selling property, courtesy of a new blockchain-based platform released by real estate tech start-up ShelterZoom.

On December 14, ShelterZoom announced the US release of their Online Offer and Acceptance Platform to speed up the offer/accept element of buying and selling.

The technology features an “Offer NOW” widget that can be added to any website and allows offers to be made, accepted and tracked in real time, using the time-stamped, distributed data ledger technology of Ethereum-based blockchain.

Speaking from Melbourne, ShelterZoom CEO and co-founder Chao Cheng-Shorland said the platform addressed a need within the real estate industry.

“We looked across the real estate process and analysed what areas were doing well, what could be addressed and where the value would be,” she explained.

“While there are so many listing sites and search fields, we soon realised that once you find a house the technology stops. Prospective buyers need to ring the real estate office and fill in forms, with a lot of paperwork involved.”

The result is a platform that includes a dashboard, the Offer NOW widget and a mobile app. It enables buyers and buyer agents to instantly submit offers from online real estate listings with just a few clicks or screen taps.

Ms Cheng-Shorland noted the technology added transparency and removed the legwork from an often time-consuming process.

“An offer is the first stage of the negotiation process when it comes to purchasing a property, and it’s important for buyers, sellers and agents to have transparency in how and when an offer is presented, especially in a competitive buyer’s market.

“Now buyers can express serious interest on the spot, using mobile technology rather than tedious paperwork that often needs a third party to witness the process, and audit the transaction.”

Ms Cheng-Shorland continued, due to the distributed ledger that drives blockchain, each party receives an identical copy of the information. It is time-stamped, irrefutable and cannot be altered.

“Every event is recorded in a time-stamped way, in real time, including counter-offers. It offers clarity, transparency and security.”

Users can track and aggregate offers, accept offers, reject or counter them in real time, while buyers and buyer agents can track offer status through their own ShelterZoom dashboards.

In addition, all parties in a transaction can receive push or text notifications throughout the offer process and instantly chat with one another according to established protocols via a modern, user-friendly interface.

The technology has already attracted widespread interest in the US, New Zealand and Australia as it completes the beta testing phase.

At present, Australian agents can register their interest at the ShelterZoom website. ShelterZoom is now also completing mapping in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland as it looks to formally launch the complete product in Australia.

Once beta testing is finalised at the end of February, agents will be able to self-install the free widget on their websites or employ the assistance of the dedicated ShelterZoom support team to use the service.

ShelterZoom will follow the launch of Offer NOW with a second platform “Rent NOW” which shares similar technology and allows prospective tenants to instantly submit secure rental applications for a property. The complete online renting solution will come with a dashboard for landlords, agents and tenants as well as an online chat function for all parties involved.

About ShelterZoom

ShelterZoom™ is a privately held, early-stage real estate technology startup headquartered in New York City. The company offers a complete, end-to-end solution for buying and selling real estate online. Built on Ethereum, a blockchain-based distributed computing platform, the industry-first ShelterZoom solution helps standardise and streamline the offer process.

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.